November 27, 2011

Championship Week Begins: A revenge game?

EAST LANSING - Mark Dantonio and Bret Bielema each touched on the novelty of a rare second meeting between their two teams during Sunday's teleconference featuring the respective head coaches of the Legends and Leaders Division in the Big Ten.

Neither coach has been involved in game like the one Michigan State and Wisconsin will play in Indianapolis on December 3 at Lucas Oil Stadium for the right to represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.

Given the frequency with which the two teams have played each other since Dantonio's took over the Michigan State program before the 2007 season, it may seem like the Badgers and Spartans have squared off more than five times during the past five seasons.

"We know each other, that's for sure," said Dantonio. "Now, we will get a chance to play them No. 6. We've won three out of the last four (against Wisconsin) and I think that needs to be recognized by our players and give us confidence. We also need to know what we are up against and the challenges that we face. We look forward to a great football game, it is exciting to play Wisconsin. It always is when we play Wisconsin, whether we go up there or they come down here. For the most part, they have been good football games and we look forward to that match-up again. It will be challenging, there is no question about it. We are excited to be there and be a part of this."

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